President Donald Trump vetoed a resolution to put an end to U.S. involvement in the Saudi-led war in Yemen, his second one since taking office, arguing the resolution was aimed at weakening his constitutional powers.
“This resolution is an unnecessary, dangerous attempt to weaken my constitutional authorities,” Trump said in issuing the veto to the War Powers Resolution passed earlier this month.
Congress passed the resolution with bipartisan support to stop U.S. military assistance to the Saudi and Emirati forces in Yemen. But despite support from both sides of the aisle, Congress lacks the needed two-thirds majority to override the President’s veto, ABC News informs.
“The President has cynically chosen to contravene a bipartisan, bicameral vote of the Congress and perpetuate America’s shameful involvement in this heartbreaking crisis,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Tuesday.
She also urged Trump to put peace above politics and nudge the Saudis towards peace negotiations.
“This conflict must end, now. The House of Representatives calls on the President to put peace before politics, and work with us to advance an enduring solution to end this crisis and save lives.”
The U.S. has been providing its assistance to the Saudis and Emiratis ever since the Obama administration, but Congress has never before used the War Powers Act of 1973 to end American involvement in a conflict.
The current administration claims that its military assistance does not amount to direct involvement in the war and thus the resolution is “unnecessary.”
Trump further said the resolution was “dangerous” because it imposes an “arbitrary” timeline on U.S. involvement and undercuts his administration’s “efforts to prevent civilian casualties and prevent the spread of terrorist organizations such as al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and ISIS.”
Supporters of the resolution maintain that after years of support for the Saudis and Emirates, U.S. withdrawal would serve to encourage Saudi Arabia to engage in peace talks.
“The people of Yemen and the parties to the conflict are watching closely and the messages U.S. leaders send have the power to save lives. With a veto, they lose faith in the United States and see the end to their suffering a little further out of reach,” said Scott Paul, humanitarian policy lead for Oxfam America.